David Smith – Headmaster
Success is not random. It comes from carefully considering an ambitious vision, developing a clear strategy and then putting it into practice. But it also comes from sticking to your guns, living with the decisions that have been made and ensuring that everyone (and it needs to be everyone!) buys in.
A school family is a wonderful thing. Students, staff, parents, governors and even the local community bring diversity; a broad spectrum of wealth, class, ethnicity, talent and skill. What a place to be! But it can also produce tension; everyone has a view, everyone wants their voice to be heard. Schools need to listen and to work with parents but, crucially, have the courage to say no, to affirm that this is what we do and this is why we do it.
Every September brings news articles across the country stating that ‘Standards are too high’. Parents seem to want their child to succeed, to flourish, to have the best education possible. But all within the parameters that they believe are right. At FBS, like many other schools, we believe that high standards are crucial, not only to the functioning of an outstanding school but to academic and personal success.
This is why the correct uniform matters; from the black or grey socks to the crisp long sleeve shirts. And it’s why a student’s appearance matters just as much; and yes that does include hair. Uniformity gives a sense of identity, an ownership and pride for the school. It extends to the work in the classroom, the journey to and from school and the way in which we speak to one another.
We are unapologetic about our standards. We are upfront, transparent and make them known. Parents have the choice to opt out and go elsewhere, but if they choose to come to FBS then they choose to throw themselves into what the school is about.
We are a school of first choice in Fulham with over 500 people applying for 130 places in Year 7. Our new sixth form is now full in Year 12. Our boys are enterprising, they learn to think and question through the Christian Faith and their academic success is exceptional. All in just eight years of existence! This success does not exist alongside our high standards but because of them.
Every year there will be some that disagree with high standards and every year there will be another repeat of news articles across the country. But at FBS, every year we will continue to do what we do; it works, and our young men thrive.